Burnt Toast and Harsh Words versus French Toast and Sweet Talk: What Child Gender Got to Do with It?

Meenakshi Beri, Central Michigan University

This study examines child gender impact on parental happiness in their later life using a nationally representative longitudinal Health and Retirement Study (HRS) data for the U.S. We find that parental satisfaction level is comparatively higher in the households having first-born daughter as well as having atleast one daughter. Furthermore, 1) Mothers in ‘daughters-only’ households express significantly higher level of understanding, openness, trust and contact with their kids than their ‘sons-only’ counterparts. 2) Fathers in ‘daughters-only’ category express significantly greater contact with kids, however fathers get highest satisfaction if they have both daughter and son. 3) Both Parents show greater contact if the ‘first-born’ is a daughter.Understanding the relation between child gender and parental happiness in later life plays an important role in inter-vivos transfers, bequests, parental time and resource allocation for kids and grandkids on one hand and on parental emotional and physical well-being on the other.

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Presented in Poster Session 1: Marriage, Unions, Families and Households